Although the number of work-related illnesses and deaths has lessened
somewhat in industrialized countries, the rate seems to be increasing in many
developing countries, according to a new report released at the 17th World
Congress on Safety and Health at Work by the United Nations’ International
Labor Organization (ILO).
According to the latest ILO estimates, 2.2 million people die of work-related
injuries and diseases worldwide each year, a 10% increase from the estimate
for work-related deaths given in a similar report in 2002. This figure may
be a vast underestimate, however, due to poor reporting in many developing
countries, the report’s authors note. The majority of people in the
global workforce lack legal protections, preventive safety or health measures,
or access to occupational health services, the ILO noted.
Stephenson J. Work-Related Illness, Injury. JAMA. 2005;294(15):1890. doi:10.1001/jama.294.15.1890-c